ESPN ran its 2-hour documentary “Catching Hell” as a part of its 30 for 30 series earlier tonight. The documentary focuses on Steve Bartman and his involvement in game six of the 2003 NLCS between the Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs.
Bartman, along with about four or five other fans, reached their hands out along the railing as Cubs’ fielder Moises Alou chased down a flying foul ball. Out of all the fans, his hands were the one to make the most ‘prominent’ contact with the ball.
As Alou failed to snatch the ball from the crowd, he removed his glove and threw it on the ground in frustration, shouting expletives.
Long story short… the Cubs went on to lose game 6 and consequently game 7 to the Marlins.
Bartman was escorted out of Wrigley that night. He was cussed at, had beer and pizza thrown at him and had to turn into a reclusive hermit because of his automatic assumption of the role of a scapegoat. He even received death threats, one of the threats being “put a 12 gauge shotgun in your mouth and pull the trigger!”
Bartman wasn’t the reason the Cubs failed to advance to the World Series. Alex Gonzalez’s fielding error was, the Florida Marlins’ ensuing bevy of hits was…
I don’t know too many Cubs fans, but the ones I do know are rational and understand that Bartman isn’t to blame.
Cubs fans shouldn’t be called ‘classless’ or ‘pigs’ for their treatment of Bartman that night. Picture that happening in any other stadium with a game of that magnitude — that fan would receive similar treatment in the moment.
In the moment.